Regina v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport and another, ex parte European Roma Rights Centre and others: HL 9 Dec 2004

Extension oh Human Rights Beyond Borders

The appellants complained that the system set up by the respondent where Home Office officers were placed in Prague airport to pre-vet applicants for asylum from Romania were dsicriminatory in that substantially more gypsies were refused entry than others, and that it was contrary to the obligations of the United Kingdom under the 1951 Convention and customary international law.
Held: The convention rights had applied only to those within a country’s boundaries, but now might be extended. Nevertheless, had the pre-vetting system not been in place, the government might probably and properly initiated a visa system instead. Nevertheless, the syatem as applied was racially discriminatory. The guidance given to officers explicitly suggested discrimination on ethnic grounds, and an order had been made under the 1976 Act authorising discrimination. Nagarajan established that motive was irrelevant when considering an allegation of discrimination. ‘the system operated by immigration officers at Prague Airport was inherently and systemically discriminatory on racial grounds against Roma’ Article 26 of the 1966 Covenant required non-discrimantion. The actions of the respondent was in breach of the obligations accepted. It was not legitimate to apply a stereotype and commence with the assumption that applicants from Roma may be making false claims and that for that reason their claims require more intensive investigation.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell
[2005] 2 AC 1, [2004] UKHL 55, Times 10-Dec-2004, [2005] 2 WLR 1, [2005] 1 All ER 527, [2005] Imm AR 100, 18 BHRC 1, [2005] IRLR 115, [2005] UKHRR 530, [2005] INLR 182, [2005] HRLR 4
House of Lords, Bailii
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 14, Immigration Act 1971 1 2, Race Relations Act 1976 19D, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 26, Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
England and Wales
Appeal FromEuropean Roma Rights Centre and others v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport and Another CA 20-May-2003
A scheme had been introduced to arrange pre-entry clearance for visitors to the United Kingdom by posting of immigration officers in the Czech Republic. The claimants argued that the system was discriminatory, because Roma visitors were now . .
CitedThe East India Company v Sandys 1684
A nation has a right to control who comes within its borders: ‘I conceive the King had an absolute power to forbid foreigners, whether merchants or others, from coming within his dominions, both in times of war and in times of peace, according to . .
CitedStott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown PC 5-Dec-2000
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right . .
CitedMusgrove v Toy HL 1891
There is no right of entry into the country in common law for a person fleeing persecution in his own country. . .
CitedT v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 22-May-1996
The applicant for asylum had been involved in an airport bomb attack killing 10 people. Asylum had been refused on the basis that this was a non-political crime. Though the organisation had political objectives, those were only indirectly associated . .
CitedRex v Bottrill, Ex parte Kuechenmeister CA 1946
There is no right as such of entry to the UK for someone fleeing persecution in their own country. The certificate of the Foreign Secretary given on behalf of the Crown as to the existence of a state of war involving HMG is conclusive and binding on . .
CitedJohnstone v Pedlar HL 24-Jun-1921
The now respondent, a naturalised USA citizen, had sued the appllant, the chief Commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan police complaining of an unlawful detention, and continued retention of money taken on his arrest for militarily drilling . .
CitedAttorney General for the Dominion of Canada v Cain PC 1906
Lord Atkinson said: ‘One of the rights possessed by the supreme power in every State is the right to refuse to permit an alien to enter that State, to annex what conditions it pleases to the permission to enter it and to expel or deport from the . .
CitedMinister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Ibrahim 1-Oct-2000
(High Court of Australia) The court recognised a right in sovereign states to give refuge to aliens fleeing from foreign persecution and to refuse to surrender such persons to the authorities of their home states: ‘there have been attempts which it . .
CitedRegina v Keyn 13-Nov-1876
The court considered the significance of the existence of an academic consensus as to the meaning of an international convention. Cockburn CJ said: ‘even if entire unanimity had existed in respect of the important particulars to which I have . .
CitedNorth Sea Continental Shelf Cases (Federal Republic of Germany v Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany v Netherlands) ICJ 20-Feb-1969
ICJ The dispute related to the delimitation of the continental shelf between the Federal Republic of Germany and Denmark on the one hand, and between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands on the . .
CitedBankovic v Belgium ECHR 12-Dec-2001
(Grand Chamber) Air strikes were carried out by NATO forces against radio and television facilities in Belgrade on 23 April 1999. The claims of five of the applicants arose out of the deaths of relatives in this raid. The sixth claimed on his own . .
CitedSwiggs and others v Nagarajan HL 15-Jul-1999
Bias may not be intentional
The applicant claimed that he had been denied appointment to a job with London Regional Transport because he had brought a number of previous race discrimination claims against it or associated companies. An industrial tribunal had upheld his claim . .
CitedGolder v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1975
G was a prisoner who was refused permission by the Home Secretary to consult a solicitor with a view to bringing libel proceedings against a prison officer. The court construed article 6 of ECHR, which provides that ‘in the determination of his . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Hoverspeed Admn 2-Feb-1999
Immigration control laws required pre-entry clearance of visitors. To do so it imposed carriers’ liability without which, the requirement for prior entry clearance would have little effect: ‘What, then, is it which is said to justify placing these . .
CitedIn re Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Co Ltd (Belgium v Spain) (second phase) ICJ 5-Feb-1970
ICJ The claim arose out of the adjudication in bankruptcy in Spain of Barcelona Traction, a company incorporated in Canada. Its object was to seek reparation for damage alleged by Belgium to have been sustained . .
CitedRegina v Montila and Others HL 25-Nov-2004
The defendants faced charges under the two Acts. They raised as a preliminary issue whether it is necessary for the Crown to prove that the property being converted was in fact the proceeds, in the case of the 1994 Act, of drug trafficking and, in . .
CitedRegina v Home Secretary, ex parte Sivakumaran HL 16-Dec-1987
The House of Lords were concerned with the correct test to be applied in determining whether asylum seekers are entitled to the status of refugee. That in turn gave rise to an issue, turning upon the proper interpretation of Article 1.A(2) of the . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex parte Singh QBD 8-Jun-1987
The Refugee Convention had ‘indirectly’ been incorporated under English law. The court considered whether a person allowed entry by an immigration officer was lawfully here irrespective of other considerations. As to the case of Musis in the . .
CitedNuclear Tests Case (Australia v France) ICJ 20-Dec-1974
In its judgment in the case concerning Nuclear Tests (Australia v. France), the Court, by 9 votes to 6, has found that the claim of Australia no longer had any object and that the Court was therefore not called upon to give a decision thereon. In . .
CitedSmith v Governor and Company of The Bank of Scotland HL 6-Feb-1997
A bank which did not warn its customer of the of risks of a loan and of the need for independent advice was bound by misrepresentations made by customer. The House referred to ‘the broad principle in the field of contract law of fair dealing in good . .
CitedBorder and Transborder Armed Actions (Nicaragua v Honduras) (1986-1992) ICJ 1988
The court referred to its description of the place of an obligation of a country acting in good faith in the Nuclear Tests case, adding about the basic principle, that good faith ‘is not in itself a source of obligation where none would otherwise . .
CitedInterfoto Picture Library Ltd v Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd CA 12-Nov-1987
Incorporation of Onerous Terms Requires More Care
Photographic transparencies were hired out to the advertising agency defendant. The contract clauses on the delivery note included a fee which was exorbitant for the retention of transparencies beyond the set date.
Held: The plaintiff had not . .
CitedKing v Great Britain China Centre CA 1991
The court considered the nature of evidence which will be available to tribunals considering a race discrimination claim.
Held: A complainant must prove his or her case on the balance of probabilities, but it is unusual to find direct evidence . .
CitedGlasgow City Council v Zafar SCS 1997
The house considered the burden of proof in cases involving allegations of discrimination.
Held: Lord Morison ‘The requirement necessary to establish less favourable treatment which is laid down by section 1(1) of the Act of 1976 is not one of . .
CitedRegina v Entry Clearance Officer, Bombay, Ex parte Amin HL 1983
The House was asked whether the grant of special vouchers under the special voucher scheme introduced came within section 29 of the 1975 Act. Acts performed pursuant to a government function did not come within the meaning of service. Discrimination . .
CitedSouth West Africa Cases (Ethiopia v South Africa) (Liberia v South Africa) (second phase) ICJ 18-Jul-1966
ICJ The South West Africa cases (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v. South Africa), which relate to the continued existence of the Mandate for South West Africa and the duties and performance of South Africa as . .
CitedEqual Opportunities Commission v Director of Education 2001
(High Court of Hong Kong) ‘what may be true of a group may not be true of a significant number of individuals within that group’. . .
At First InstanceEuropean Roma Rights Centre and 6 others v Tthe Immigration Officer at Prague Airport, The Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 8-Oct-2002
There is an ‘administrative, financial and indeed social burden borne as a result of failed asylum seekers’. . .
CitedBashir and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 30-Jul-2018
(Interim Judgment) The respondent asylum seekers had been rescued in the Mediterranean and taken to an RAF base in Akrotiri on Cyprus, a sovereign base area. The court was now asked whether they were entitled, or should be permitted, to be resettled . .

Cited by:
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
CitedHoxha and Another v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 10-Mar-2005
The claimants sought to maintain their claims for asylum. They had fled persecution, but before their claims for asylum were determined conditions in their home country changed so that they could no longer be said to have a well founded fear of . .
CitedOccidental Exploration and Production Company vRepublic of Ecuador CA 9-Sep-2005
The parties had arbitrated their dispute in London under a bilateral investment treaty between the US and Ecuador. The republic sought to appeal the arbitration. The applicant now appealed an order that the English High Court had jurisdiction to . .
CitedGillan, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Another HL 8-Mar-2006
The defendants said that the stop and search powers granted under the 2000 Act were too wide, and infringed their human rights. Each had been stopped when innocently attending demonstrations in London, and had been effectively detained for about . .
CitedHuang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
CitedMohammed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence CA 1-May-2007
In 2000, the defendant introduced a policy to make compensation payments for those British services personnel who had been imprisoned by the Japanese in the second world war. The appellant, a citizen of Pakistan had served in the Indian Army, was . .
CitedRegina v Fregenet Asfaw HL 21-May-2008
The House considered the point of law: ‘If a defendant is charged with an offence not specified in section 31(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, to what extent is he entitled to rely on the protections afforded by article 31 of the 1951 . .
CitedMedical Justice, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 26-Jul-2010
The claimant, a charity assisting immigrants and asylum seekers, challenged a policy document regulating the access to the court of failed applicants facing removal. They said that the new policy, reducing the opportunity to appeal to 72 hours or . .
CitedST Eritrea, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 21-Mar-2012
The Tribunal had confirmed the appellant’s refugee status, but the respondent had ordered nevertheless that she be returned. The judge’s order setting aside that decision had been overturned in the Court of Appeal.
Held: The claimant’s appeal . .
CitedBashir and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 30-Jul-2018
(Interim Judgment) The respondent asylum seekers had been rescued in the Mediterranean and taken to an RAF base in Akrotiri on Cyprus, a sovereign base area. The court was now asked whether they were entitled, or should be permitted, to be resettled . .
CitedBashir and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 30-Jul-2018
(Interim Judgment) The respondent asylum seekers had been rescued in the Mediterranean and taken to an RAF base in Akrotiri on Cyprus, a sovereign base area. The court was now asked whether they were entitled, or should be permitted, to be resettled . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Discrimination, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.220162